"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Monday, August 19, 2013


Neglected, that's how a lot of things have gotten over this summer.  My garden being one and my blog has been getting more and more neglected too.
Family things going on, as well as kid activities have given me very little time to be out and take care of the garden.  What free time I've had has been spent on watering.  It has been an unusually dry and warm summer.  I'm not complaining and neither are the tomatoes though!
I thought I would give the blog a little attention today with some of what the garden looks like right now.  Luckily weeds are smaller than the plants, although there are many, many of them.  There are wilted things and crispy things, but luckily for the most part neglect hasn't bothered the garden too much.

 The pond was refilled yesterday so it looks nice right now.

 With the pine tree now gone the plants in the garden and on the deck have gone crazy!

 The arbor has filled out more, with three different types of Clematis and a climbing rose it should be!

 Lots more sunny perennials have been added to the backyard.  They have attracted more bees, butterflies and birds than ever.

 A new Aster.

 The sun is very bright which makes the colors very washed out, but believe me there is a lot of bright color.

 With full sun here now the window boxes are overflowing.

 Lots more sun has made everything explode (and I also credit all the chicken manure from the coop that I spread here last fall).

 Sadly the neglect and lack of water has caused my Flowering Currant to completely dry up.  It didn't seem to matter how much I tried to water, it's still crisp.  I do think I see a bit of green though where new leaves might be trying to grow.

 The blueberries, raspberries and figs are having a very productive summer.  They have really been neglected and luckily don't need too much water.

The chickens are doing great.  You can see the three new ones here that we got as chicks in April.  They all three are laying eggs now.

 Containers on the back deck.

 There's a wagon under those flowers!

 We've seen so many more butterflies than usual this summer.

 Lots of pears getting ready to be picked.

 One of the raised vegetable beds.  We've had tomatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, garlic, chard and Kale already.

Spinach, squash, basil, blueberries and even eggplants!

 Lots of color!

 From the street.

The driveway bed.  It has gotten actually more attention than usual because it's getting some water.  I get very lazy dragging hoses around even in an uneventful summer, but this year I'm making sure that this part doesn't get ignored.

 This baby wren is from mid-July.  It's the first time we've ever seen the babies leave their next.  We had several birdhouses that hosted not one, but two different families this year which is very unusual.

Maybe once the girls start school in September the blog won't be so neglected?  Maybe I'll have more time to spend in the garden?  Well, one thing I've learned this summer is that the garden will go on despite the neglect it's gotten which has been something that makes me happy.  Nothing like a tough day when I can still look out the window and see flowers and birds and butterflies still going on without any help from me.  Another gift from the garden.  It doesn't need me, I need it.

All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mid -March and the signs of spring keep on coming.

We've enjoyed the few sunny days we've had, as well as the ones that are at least dry enough to go out to the garden and do a few little jobs here and there.  Plants seem to be sprouting everywhere.  As usual in spring there are some "missing" plants.  I'm always disappointed when plants I really like don't return.  I'm not sure what I could really blame them not coming back on.  It wasn't really that cold, the rain seemed about normal and we only had one day of snow.  But the upside is room for new plants!

The little Violas that I planted in fall are all sending up lots of flowers now.

Last weekend we had a couple of nice sunny days and the chickens loved laying out in it.

We put "cages" around the blueberry bushes.  For years they weren't noticed by birds, but over the last couple years the Robins have found them as well as our chickens.  Further down we planted some raspberries and put some supports in for them.

Marsh Marigold is blooming.

The white Bleeding Heart is always ahead of the pink ones.

Hopefully these girls are finding lots of slugs to eat!

Pink Flowering Currant is so close to blooming!  The hummingbirds are crazy for them.

I just found Sugar Snap Peas popping through today.  They weren't there yesterday.  No sign of the Sweet Peas yet though.

Inside the row cover there is lots and lots of brand new sprouts.

In another month or so the shed garden will be loaded with flowers.

One of the few daffodils to come back.  The Tete-a-tetes seem to do the best in my yard.

I've started seeing a pair of Wrens working on a nest in a birdhouse in our backyard, honey bees were out this weekend and the Towhee that is here every spring splashing away daily in the birdbath is back.  I've found a few new plants to put in the garden.  I love this time of year.
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Friday, March 8, 2013

What ever happened to Blotanical?

Is anyone in the know about what has happened or is happening at Blotanical?  I admit I quit going there as often when the whole way picks were done changed.  I personally didn't care for the "rating" of blog posts by the number of picks given.  I had always visited Blotanical (which I joined in January of 2009) to find new blogs, which in turn lead me to meeting new friends from all over the world.  After awhile I only visited blogs that were either on my blogroll or ones that I came to by "blog hopping".  A couple of times this week I thought about Blotanical and thought I would see if I had missed out on any news.  I looked through the forums and the newest topic I could find were posts on how to cheat Blotanical to raise your blog in the faves.  I know this was written more as a way to out the cheaters, not for that bloggers personal gain (it even says "tongue firmly in cheek" in the title).  I remember some similar blog posts about the same thing a year or two ago.
Then I started looking through the blogs I had once faved, back years ago when I was very active and I started to feel kind of sad about the whole thing. 
When I started my blog in 2009 Blotanical had such a community feel to it.  That feeling seemed to be less and less as the whole picking thing changed - at least in my own personal opinion.
I admit, that life has gotten busier and I have not been as good about blogging or blog visiting, so maybe the Blotanical community still has the same feel it had years ago and I have just gotten so out of the loop that I don't know who anyone active is there anymore.
So, has anyone heard a word about if or when anything is ever going to happen?  Or is there another place that you garden bloggers go now to find another great community of garden bloggers?

I felt like I needed to have a garden picture, so here is my pond!
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Monday, March 4, 2013

Almost there...

For the last couple of days the sun has been out and you can just feel spring in the air.  I swear you can practically see things growing now.  I've been spending what free time I have out enjoying the yard, still getting it cleaned up, moving plants, starting some seeds. 

 I cleaned up some of the pond and cleaned out the filter a couple of days ago.  The fish have been swimming around and the pond plants have new growth.

 Now that we are getting close to our first spring without the huge pine tree I'm starting to get an idea of just how sunny it's going to be on the deck.  I can finally have a big pot of herbs growing on it, lots of flowers and best of all no sap or pine needles on any of them.  I'm pretty sure we'll have to invest in an umbrella too.

 You can really see the difference between the sun and shade here, but I know as the sun gets higher during the spring and summer that fence bed will get lots of sun too.  I've got chicken wire protecting newly emerging plants from the chickens who have a taste for fresh green leaves.

 Lots of bulbs popping up and the Flowering Currants are getting close to blooming.  The further away one may not do much this year since I had to move it during the tree removal.

 I planted this awesome Hellebore last winter.  It's from the Winter Jewels collection 'Cherry Blossom'.  It's become my new favorite.

 We've almost had our chickens a whole year, but this will be the first spring with them outside.  They definitely like to eat plants so I'm going to make sure I'm around to supervise what they are getting into.

 Hellebore 'Mardi Gras'

 Not the best picture, but I found this cute little rusty metal Nuthatch at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show.  The show was probably my favorite one yet.  I didn't get a lot of pictures this year, but many blogs had great photos from it.

 I finally got pvc hoops up on the front raised beds.  We got this one planted this weekend and am crossing my fingers this gives us more veggies than we had last year.  The plastic will be held down with clips, just waiting for them to get here,  for now rocks are doing the trick.

 It looks so bare right now, but I've sprinkled lots of seeds around the fence and more will get planted when it warms up more.  At the top of the trellis is a little visitor.  Can you see her here?

 This cute little angel was bought at the garden show too.

 I would have to say Hellebores have been one of my best "investments".  No, they aren't too cheap, but they really are worth the money.  This one has lots of little babies around it that I can dig up and share.

 I love this combination in one of my wine barrel planters.  The Euphorbia will be blooming before too long.

I'm trying to be patient to start tomatoes and other vegetable and flower seeds this year.  I think I've been starting them way too early and then I get impatient having them in the house taking up space, and then plant them outside too early.  This year I'm waiting until the beginning of April (if I can hold out that long, it may be the end of March).

All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pretending it's Spring!

Okay, no excuses about why I haven't blogged in 2 months.  ☺ 
The sun has been peeking out today and it reminded me of what it's like here when it's not pouring rain or foggy for weeks on end.  It felt like spring, and it was so nice to soak up a little sun.  It's also perfect weather for working in the garden.  You know it's been a productive time outside when every single thing you were wearing is covered in mud.
My original plan was to clean up the raised beds in our front yard, that never happened.  Instead I moved several shrubs around and have ended up with two that have no homes.  Hopefully one of my friends will want them.  The spaces where some of the shrubs were are now open for new plants later on.  I've decided that this is going to be a year of rearranging the garden.  I'm always moving something, but there are years that I don't do quite as much.  I have several plants that are just in the wrong spot, either too big, or just don't look right.  Can't wait to start digging!
While I was outside I was amazed at how much is already starting to grow.  Snowdrops are up and blooming, Hellebores are very close to blooming, lots of tulip and daffodils are starting to break through.  Bleeding Hearts have brand new growth showing, leaf buds on Flowering Currants are getting much bigger and best of all the Sarcococcas are blooming and making the yard smell delicious!

 A recent visitor to our pond a few days ago.  This Great Blue Heron sat in this tree for about 15 minutes before flying off.  Luckily he didn't get any fish, but he almost hit our window, his wing actually did but he seemed uninjured.

 The little shed garden has lots going on in it.  Can you spot Tina Fey looking for bugs?   She scratched up the garden nice and pretty!

 The shed garden from the other direction.

 I'm so proud of myself for starting to plant more around the pond that is evergreen.  It actually still looks pretty there.

 I can't say just how happy I am that the pine tree is gone.  I don't miss it for a second and every time I untangle the remaining pine needles from plants I think about how this is the last time I'll be doing that.

 The chickens were stretched out all over the deck soaking in the sun.

 More looking for something good to eat.

 Speaking of digging things up, I dug out a Camellia that had been where the Pieris is now.  It had been there for years, only bloomed on the bottom, was yellow and grew horizontally for some reason.  I had the Pieris in a container that it was too big for.  I think it will be perfect here.
 In the front bed I moved out a rose (into the backyard) and a Deutzia that never did anything.  I had a large fuchsia that was too close to the edge of this bed so I moved it to where the others plants had been.  Wish the Hydrangeas looked better than they do in the winter.

 I moved a Spirea that was much too big for this spot, and moved a Weigela (a small variety that I can't remember the name of) into it's place.

 It looks so fresh there now.  While I was digging I dug up several cherry tree sprouts that had gotten pretty big.

This area just needed a change.  I dug up another Spirea that was just getting too big.  There are several plants here that I want to move.

There was a theme to my digging today. They were all shrubs that had gotten too big.  I've learned the lesson over the years that those tags on those tiny little plants at the nursery are correct.  That one gallon plant will get to be 6 feet high and wide, or whatever it says.  
We're supposed to have another nice day tomorrow, and this time I will get those front raised beds cleaned out, hopefully...

All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It